Where are they now? Intern Alumni Spotlight: Josh Noseworthy
This blog marks the third Alumni Spotlight — a series highlighting some of the individuals who have interned with the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) in the past. Last month, we featured Eve Desmarais, and this month we are following up with Josh Noseworthy.
Where he started: In 2007, Josh graduated with a technical diploma in forest technology from the Maritime College of Forest Technology. He then went on to the University of New Brunswick, where he received a bachelors of science degree in forestry, followed by a masters of science in forestry.
As an intern: In the summer of 2008, Josh began his internship with NCC. His position as a conservation intern took him all over the east coast of Canada, where he completed stewardship activities, which included ecological monitoring and property cleanups.
Where he is now: Josh recently went back to university to further his education. He graduated from the University of Cambridge with a masters of philosophy in conservation leadership. Josh also holds a wildlife biologists accreditation from The Wildlife Society.
Following his graduation, Josh returned to NCC as director of conservation science for the Atlantic Region. His job keeps him very busy, with developing landscape conservation plans, facilitating meetings with other organizations to help them build their conservation science capacity and developing tools and strategies to move conservation forward in the region.
Where he is going: Josh is certain about his future in conservation, as it is something he is incredibly passionate about. When asked about his career goals, he says he would like to be an executive director of a conservation organization and be able to directly strategize how to tackle conservation issues.
Brielle (BR): How did your internship with NCC contribute to your professional journey?
Josh Noseworthy (JN): In school, we learned about various conservation science topics, but my internship was really my first experience working in conservation. Until you’re getting your hands dirty, it’s difficult to grasp what conservation really entails. My internship was really the start of my career, and it helped build perspective on how to solve the conservation problems that we face here in Canada. I can honestly say that my internship was the platform that started my conservation career journey.
BR: What was the most valuable thing you gained from interning with NCC?
JN: I learned about my love of field work by exploring nature throughout the duration of my internship. It was an eye-opening experience to be able to witness the threats that wildlife and ecosystems face. Again, it’s very difficult to truly understand these issues until you see them for yourself. The on-the-ground application of conservation was really the most valuable thing I gained.
BR: What skills do you think are the most important for those working in the environmental sector?
JN: Five years ago, I probably would have said something about having ecological knowledge and really knowing the species that you are working with. Although those are still very important, I have since changed my tune.
I now really believe that negotiation skills, conflict resolution skills and facilitation skills are the most important things, because conservation is really about working with people. Another important skill that young professionals should aspire to have, if they really want to make a difference in conservation, is the ability to communicate with and influence decision-makers.
Often, young professionals can become weighed down in the science; so much so, that they forget to look beyond that to the people side of things. It can be extremely limiting to your career development if you can't communicate with different audiences.
BR: Why do you think it is important for young professionals to be interested/employed in the environmental sector?
JN: I think it is important that young people start applying their knowledge and skills to these environmental problems, because this sector is only going to continue growing. My own prediction is that within the next decade, this is going to be one of the fastest-growing sectors in the world, given the environmental issues that we face across the planet.
I think it is a really good choice for young people to get into the environmental field. There will be lots of opportunity, and we need the best minds to help solve the problems that we face.
The Conservation Internship Program is funded in part by the Government of Canada’s Summer Work Experience program.